Falkland Islands Photography Tour 2019


Falkland Islands Photography Tour

A photographic extravaganza - 14 nights - Wednesday 27th November 2019 – Wednesday 11th December 2019. Fully inclusive cost £6,995.00  (single room supplement £450*) Deposit £850

The Falkland Islands have a raw, unspoilt quality that provide one of the most unusual and spectacular wildlife destinations in the world, lying some 450 kilometers from the coast of South America amid the rich fishing grounds of the South Atlantic. Explore the wildlife-rich beaches of Sea Lion Island, discover Pebble Island and marvel at the King penguins and Elephant seal colonies at Volunteer Point alongside a huge choice of other amazing and unique wildlife the Falklands has. The islands are inhabited by huge numbers of seabirds during the breeding season which extends from October to March, the spectacle of these great assemblies of penguins, albatrosses, cormorants and terns is reason enough to visit the Falkland's but the islands are so much more than just a haven for seabirds. The scenery is often reminiscent of the Scottish islands and there are many unique aspects to life in the Falklands, visitors are constantly charmed by this blend of familiar and unfamiliar and in many ways the islands are essentially British in character but a flavour of the South Atlantic exerts its own influence onto the islands. The site of huge Elephant Seals hauled out on the sandy beaches, or the giant Albatrosses gliding effortlessly over the sea, this place is pure magic in terms of its wildlife.

The Falkland Islands offer a very special birding experience, 227 species have been recorded in the Islands, with five of the worlds species of breeding penguin and over 65% of the World's Black–browed albatross population. Many rare species inhabit the Islands, with some of these classified globally as “threatened” and "endangered. At many destinations around the Islands we will find ourselves alone in a rookery, on the hillside or by a waters-edge, able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of this very personal encounter. Photography is easy for any level with endless opportunities everywhere you go and visit. The Islands are home to the World's largest pinniped (seals, sea lions and walruses) mammal, the elephant seal. Sea Lions and Fur seals are easily seen around the Islands, the Leopard Seal is an occasional visitor. Male elephant seals return early in the summer and are a spectacular sight when battling to establish territories at the start of the breeding season or even simply relaxing on the beach.

The islands occupy an area roughly the size of Wales but the population is tiny in comparison and even the capital, Stanley, is barely the size of a large English village. With little cover from trees the islands vast expanse of wild peat moorland gives way to magnificent sandy beaches that would equal any found in the tropics, this place has everything. Sea Lion Island, Carcass Island, West Point and Saunders Island constitute the main centres for this photo tour each of which offers something different, we will be spending several days at each location to get the very best light conditions and best photographic opportunities for those amazing images. Once on the islands we will travel between them by a 9-seater 'Islander' aircraft which give superb views of the scenery. On the ground we travel by Land Rover’

Migratory birds and mammals return to the Falklands beaches and headlands between October and March. December, January and February are the best months for wildlife watching, as the extended daylight hours provide up to 18 hours a day to photograph and capture the wonderful wildlife. You will benefit from expert photographic and fieldcraft advice explained and demonstrated by me and tuition on photography skills and techniques, use of lighting and composition, slow shutter speeds, impending movement shoots and much more. Different approaches will be given to each and every client encouraging you to not only take photographs but to remember this trip for years to come.

A well planned full day’s excursion trip from Stanley to Volunteer Point is sure to rank among the tour highlights as we visit the Falkland’s colony of over 1000 breeding pairs of King Penguin, along with Gentoo and Magellanic. This is a very remote spot and provides one of the best places to see all these species of penguin. Seeing these beautiful birds with be amazing and the timing of this photo tour has been chosen to coincide with the birth of their chicks which will be very appealing, parading in front of you wearing their comical "fur" coats of thick down. A memory to take home with you from these extraordinary South Atlantic islands.

All my photo trips from one to ones right up to the bigger trips are designed and lead from the front by myself, a professional wildlife photographer, with each trip designed for wildlife photographers, where I pride myself on working with the very best people on the ground and in the field, giving that personal and private touch offering all clients the best service possible with smaller group sizes also ensuring all my clients get my full expertise and guidance. To view a slideshow from my last trip to the Falkland islands with clients please click here.

ITINERARY -Please note that the itinerary can be changed at the sole discretion of Craig Jones Wildlife Photography  

Wednesday 27th November :

The group assembles at RAF Brize Norton in the evening for the flight over the South Atlantic Ocean via Ascension Island. The one and a half hour stop on Ascension next morning gives us a chance to stretch our legs and try to find the Myna birds that frequent the airport and to see if those dots over the ocean beyond are Frigatebirds or Boobies.

Thursday 28th November :

Stanley - The drive from Mount Pleasant Airport to Stanley gives us our first introduction to the rolling landscape of that part of the islands. Long-tailed Meadowlarks are often feeding beside the road and Turkey Vultures can be seen gliding low over the White Grass hills. Once settled in at Malvina Hotel in the captial  we should have time for a walk around the shore where Upland, Ruddy-headed and Kelp Geese amongst other waterfowl are found in abundance and are very photogenic. The signs of Falklands maritime past are easy to see in the shape of the wrecks that are not far away. 

Friday 29th November :

Stanley - (Volunteer Point) Today we take a Land Rover excursion to Volunteer Point, home to the islands’ principal King Penguin colony, a visit to which has to be one of the highlights of your Falklands holiday. The three-hour Land Rover trip takes us through typical Falkland landscape and we will spend lots of time with the delightful King Penguins as well as other species. It’s a long day, but a very special one.

Saturday 30th November - Tuesday 3rd December :

Carcass Island & West Point - Leaving Stanley, we take our first Islander flight. These 8-seater planes are a real experience and a wonderful way to get an overview of the islands. Our destination is Carcass Island where we’ll have a four-night stay.

The accommodation here is in en suite rooms in the main house with meals taken in the dining room that looks out through the trees to the sea. We'll have plenty of time to explore this lovely island with its Gentoo Penguin colony, its wonderful scenery and abundance of the smaller birds of the Falkland Islands such as the Falkland Pipit, the Rufous-chested Dotterel and so many more star turns.

In addition, we have a boat trip to nearby West Point with its mixed Black-browed Albatross and Rockhopper Penguin colony and its delightful "English Garden" settlement where they serve superb teas. 

Wednesday 4th - 5th December :

Saunders Island -Our destination is Saunders Island which will be our base for the next  two nights. Saunders boasts a wonderful colony of Black-browed Albatross and you can spend hours just watching and photographing these magnificent birds. As with nearly all wildlife in the Falklands, it’s possible to approach really close without causing any disturbance. The bond between pairs is beautiful – they really are gentle giants.

Please note that accommodation on Saunders is very basic but the island and it’s wonderful wildlife more than make up and your hosts are real characters.  Albatross and Rockhopper Penguin colonies are here in great numbers along with other brids and penguins its aamzing place. 

Friday 6th – Sunday 8th December:

Sea Lion Island - Sea Lion Island, with its amazing array of spectacular wildlife, is the most southerly of the Falkland Islands. As nature is so close at hand here we will spend our time on foot exploring pools and coasts of the island. The majority of all Falklands breeding birds can be found on this island, including three different species of penguin, and it’s also home to one of the rarest birds of prey in the world, the Striated Caracara. Be careful of these birds – they’re liable to nick your lens cap! One of the great sights of the holiday is the Elephant Seals hauled up on the sandy beach as they moult. The lodge has views right across the island to the sea and the occasional pod of Killer Whales can be seen.

Monday 9th December:

Darwin – Internal flight to Darwin, Long-tailed Meadowlarks are often feeding beside the road and Turkey Vultures can be seen gliding low over the White Grass hills. Once settled in at the comfortable lodge overlooking the end of Choisel Sound we should have time for a walk around the shore where Upland, Ruddy-headed and Kelp Geese amongst other waterfowl are found in abundance and are very photogenic. The signs of Falklands maritime past are easy to see in the shape of the wrecks that are not far from the lodge. Mount Osborne, the highest point on the Falklands, provides a scenic backdrop for dinner in the evening sunshine.

Tuesday 10th December :

Falklands-Ascension Island – Brize Norton We have a relatively early start for our transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport for our flight to the UK via Ascension Island.

Wednesday 11th December:  Arrive UK (0730 hours)

Recommended kit

You will need to provide your own photographic equipment. Cameras and lens ranging from 100mm right the way through to 500mm will be ideal for this action packed photo tour as the wildlife on these islands has little or no fear of humans so they can come quiet close which will present you with many close encounters. A tripod, beanbag are a must and the amazing wildlife and landscapes of this area will give you many beautiful opportunities to capture their beauty so bring a wide–angle if you have one. Protection from the elements for both your camera and lens is also a must on this trip.

Climate

Surrounded by cool South Atlantic waters, the Falkland Islands has a climate very much influenced by the ocean with a narrow annual temperature range. January and February averages about 9 °C, with average daily high of 13 °C. Rainfall is relatively low, humidity and winds are constantly high. Snow is rare, but can occur at almost any time of year.

Payment

The deposit for this amazing 14 day photo tour will be £850 per person with the remainder to be paid 12 weeks before departure. 

Included in cost: All food and accommodation, International air fares and taxes, inter–island flights, transfers, Land Rover excursions, local guides, first class photography tuition, guidance and help.

Not Included in cost: Travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature, Sundry Items. Luggage allowances is limited to 20 kilos per passenger, excess baggage will be carried at your own expense and advanced notice of excess baggage is required.

Cost

Fully inclusive cost £6,995.00  (single room supplement £450*) Deposit £850 

Maximum number of clients: 8 *Single rooms cannot be guaranteed in all the lodges and you may need to share on occasion. We will do our best to ensure this does not happen.

Dates

Wednesday 27th November 2019 – Wednesday 11th December 2019

 

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